AN: just a short piece. Sort of a tie in to the pilot episode. Oliver and Moira are very intriguing characters to me so I had to put something down on paper.

Coming Home

It's the middle of the night when the call she's waited and hoped for comes. The last few years she never thought it would happen. She'd given up hope and found a way to go on, one day at a time.

The voice on the other end tells her they have a lead on her son. A man has been found by fishermen on an island in the North China Sea. He claims to be Oliver Queen.

Moira doesn't believe it at first. She hangs up the phone, decides to not wake up the rest of the house. God knows they've finally found some way to move on from the tragedy she doesn't want drag up old feelings and pain.

Walter asks her who it was. Wrong number, she says as she tries to calm down enough to get back to sleep. She's become good at keeping secrets.

*A*

Next day there's a detective from the SCPD at the door asking for her. Thea has left for school and Walter is already at the office.

It's been confirmed. Oliver is alive. They don't have any details yet, but he's being checked out at a local hospital and the American Embassy in Beijing has personnel arranging transport home.

Finally Moira feels hope. Her son might be alive. Until she sees him she won't believe it.

The wait is nerve wracking and the whole house is in upheaval. Thea has been quieter than usual trying to come to terms with her brother being alive but at the same time her father definitely being gone.

Moira keeps busy organizing Oliver's return, making everyone who needs to know in on the secret. Until he's back the officials have promised to keep it out of the media. There will be enough turmoil in their lives without journalists trying to get a story.

Walter is worried, offers to move out so that Oliver won't have to know that they've married. Moira won't hear of it. Walter is her rock, he's been there to support her through everything, and she still needs him.

*A*

Dr. Lam wants her to come alone to see Oliver that first night. He warns her that Oliver might not be the son that left her. The scars and his silence tell a story of their own. She can barely hear anything of what the doctor tells her as she watches her son stand with his back to the door. It suddenly becomes real, not just a dream. He's there. She knows he's changed as he hugs her, feels it in his stiff back and in no words but a whispered "mom".

Moira doesn't press him for details of where he's been or what he's gone through. She's just so happy to have her son back that she almost forgets the five years in between and that Oliver needs to be introduced back to the world gradually. Dr. Lam wants to keep Oliver overnight. He needs rest and hasn't slept much. They slip Oliver a pill to help him relax as Moira keeps watch.

He finally succumbs to sleep lying on his side, his back to the window, while Moira watches him breathe. She's marveling in the sight of her only son alive! The memory of Robert stings in her heart. It's all so bittersweet.

*A*

Walter calls the next day. He's taking the day off to bring them home. Thea is nervous and anxious to see her brother but they don't want to overwhelm Oliver so she waits at the mansion.

Dr. Lam gives his last instructions about food, rest and names of therapists they can contact as they should expect problems adjusting back to normal life. They still don't know much about Oliver's five years away as no one thinks it's a good idea to push him to talk. Lam seems to think he will open up at some point.

The biggest change is the silence. Oliver was never the quiet one. He was vibrant and fun, the center of attention at every party. Now he listens before he speaks, and he seems to weigh his words and use as few of them as possible.

They all freeze as Thea blurts out her question about what it was like on the island. Oliver's answer reveals nothing. But when Moira and Walter hear his nightmare later that night they know there's so much more to the story. Her back and neck hurts for a week after trying to wake him.

*A*

Moira is so preoccupied with her son being back that she forgets all about Malcolm and his plans. It takes a few hours after he's home and her phone rings. Merlin demands a meeting. Oliver might know too much. She does what she thinks is right to protect her son. Even if it hurts him it needs to be done.

Tbc

AN2: English isn't my first language and this is not beta read so I'm sorry for any mistakes.